What you need to know:
- The committee chairman Dan Wanyama said they will help with the formulation of a law criminalising the vice.
- Webuye West MP Wanyama advised the federation to apply other money-related offences such as bribery in taming the vice.
There is a glimmer of hope in the fight against match fixing after parliamentarians promised to push for the enactment of a law criminalising the vice.
National Assembly Committee on Sports, Culture and Tourism Tuesday grilled Sports Principal Secretary Jonathan Mueke and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) officials led by president Nick Mwendwa on the rise of match fixing in the country.
The committee chairman Dan Wanyama said they will help with the formulation of a law criminalising the vice.
Webuye West MP Wanyama advised the federation to apply other money-related offences such as bribery in taming the vice.
“We shall help in the legislation of a law that criminalizes match fixing,” said Wanyama.
“But still there is a small window that if we have evidence, then we can go the route of bribery because there is a law to deal with bribery. So meanwhile, before we get to the policy level, and have match fixing fixed, then kindly let us get those who are giving the money, and take them to court for bribing, I think that will sort us for now.”
Currently, three match fixing suspects; Akhiad Kubiev (Russian), Bernard Nabendi (Ugandan) and Martin Munga (Kenyan) are fighting to clear their names in court after they were charged with cheating contrary to Section 315 of the Penal Code on March 13.
Makadara Law Courts Principal Magistrate Eric Mutunga released each of the suspects on a Sh300, 00 bond with two sureties of a similar amount.
The trio was arrested on the night of March 10 in an apartment in Roysambu, Nairobi after being set up by former footballer Festo Omukoto and eight Nairobi City Stars players, whom they had approached to help fix their Premier League match against Sofapaka on March 11.
The players were to pocket a sum of Sh1.8 million if the deal went through.
As part of the ploy, they were also to receive Sh30,000 each through MPesa as transport to Ruaraka Ground where the match was to be played.
A 32-page document prepared jointly by FKF and Ministry of Sport presented before the Committee showed that the federation has suspended 26 individuals, who include coaches, players and referees over match fixing allegations.
Mwendwa said that without a law criminalizing match fixing in the country, FKF cannot punish those who are not their members.
“Our jurisdiction is not national, so if you are not our member, we can only write to you a letter but cannot even suspend you like we do with our members,” said the FKF boss.
He asked the Ministry of Sports to set aside some funds to help with education on match fixing across the country.
Apart from sanctioning their members who are found culpable of engaging in match fixing, the FKF boss told the MPs that they have moved to tackle the vice by setting up an Integrity office that investigates and creates awareness to all football stakeholders on the effects of the illegality.
They have also come up with a match fixing reporting mechanism, which includes an anonymous email, and contact through, which people can report match fixing allegations without revealing their identities.
He added that every week, they receive communication from Fifa on matches suspected to have been manipulated upon which they carry their own investigations.
He also told the Committee that there is need to amend Section 46 of the Sports Act 2013 to avoid a clash between FKF and the Sports Registrar.
He said that County Associations should register with FKF and not directly with the Sports Registrar as is the case now.
Wanyama agreed with him that there is a need to renew the Sports Act since some sections are obsolete.